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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

A castle in Douglas County?

Cherokee Ranch & Castle towers over US 85 and the Chatfield Basin

Looking west from Cherokee Ranch & Castle

One of my favorite historic sites in Douglas County lies just east of Santa Fe (US 85), about 13 miles south of Sterling Ranch. The famous Cherokee Ranch & Castle, built during the Roaring '20s, is perhaps the last building you'd expect to see looming over the Chatfield Basin. And yet there it is - an English and Scottish-influenced castle right in the middle of Douglas County!

Cherokee Castle was built by Charles Alfred Johnson from 1924-1926. Mr. Johnson is famous for developing one of Denver's central neighborhoods, Park Hill. Cherokee Castle was built with details from English and Scottish castles, as well as other country homes, and is now maintained by the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation. The Foundation maintains 22 historic structures and preserves a 3,400-acre secluded sanctuary around the Castle.

I've had tea twice at the Cherokee Castle, and it's well worth the visit. Here's a great description of the Castle from Cherokee's website:

"The massive doors open and you enter an architectural masterpiece echoing 1450’s Scotland. Ahead lays the Great Hall with its soaring wooden arches and intricate cut-stone walls. To the left, a quiet study filled with treasures from world journeys. To the right, an expansive terrace offering magnificent views of the Rockies. Unique in all the West, this 1920s landmark and surrounding land now serves as a vibrant venue for extraordinary entertainment, education and enjoyment. Welcome."

Cherokee Castle hosts "Tea at the Castle" several Saturdays each month, and tickets cost between $45 - $55. Be sure to reserve your seats early, as tickets do tend to sell out.

In addition to tea, Cherokee Castle hosts weddings, nature hikes, brunches and lunches, and other special events.

Cherokee Ranch & Castle is a wonderful, unique asset for Douglas County and the greater Sterling Ranch community. Be sure to add it to your Douglas County bucket list!

Last but not least, if you're looking for other bucket list items, be sure to check out these Sterling Ranch Roundup articles:

Mariel Ross is a realtor who specializes in helping clients budget for, design, and build their dream homes. At Focus Real Estate we've helped clients build hundreds of new homes around Denver with Lennar, Parkwood, Richmond, Wonderland, and many other builders. Learn more about what I do here. If you'd like to chat, shoot me a note at and be sure to "Like" the Roundup on Facebook. The Sterling Ranch Roundup is powered by Focus Real Estate.

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